Starting Sunday thru last night The History Channel aired a three-part six hour drama entitled “Sons of Liberty”.
The Sons of Liberty was a real organization based in Boston that was intimately involved in the events that led up to the American Revolution. But if you only gain your knowledge of history from the drivel produced and aired on the History Channel then you will have a very skewed view of the reality of history.
A lot of very important men vital to the events leading up to the civil unrest in Boston leading up to the War for Independence were seen in the docudrama. John Adams is a mealy mouthed patriot that had to be convinced to join the cause at the last moment. Paul Revere is the brash, alpha male who appears to think little and act often. John Hancock is a fop only in it for the money until the last possible moment. Abigail Adams is seen once and is nothing more than a housewife. Sam Adams is a beer swilling, grief stricken widower that acts without thinking and without goals.
There are so many inaccuracies, liberties, poetic licenses, and lies littering the script and production. Had the piece aired on a major network or any other cable channel I probably wouldn’t be so offended by the whole thing. But for God’s sake, the History Channel should get HISTORY right when it airs something. It shouldn’t make up facts to suit ratings or turn Founding Fathers into more relatable characters.
In 2008, HBO produced the John Adams mini-series which lasted for two seasons. It is incredibly excellent and much more historically accurate. It doesn’t dumb down history, or change Founding Fathers to make them more appealing to modern day audiences. Luckily, the John Adams series is available on Amazon. I highly recommend investing the time if you have an interest in American history.
I will give the History Channel this much, they’ve spurred me into finding good books to flush out my own knowledge on the American Revolution. I will report back on the good ones I promise.